Pirarucu, Brazil

Prehistoric presence, overwhelming proportions and captivating scales. Meet the Arapaima, the biggest fish in the Amazon jungle.

Pirarucu, is the first and only exclusive fly-fishing only project allowed and supported by the Brazilian Government with focus a principle on Arapaima. Environmental Officials worked together with the local association to create the very first official sport fishing operations in Brazil.

Pirarucú is located within the Mamirauá Reserve, about 600 km west of Manaus, a complex of lakes and channels between the Solimões River and Japura River. Mamirauá was the first Sustainable Development Reserve in Brazil, legislated by the Government of Amazonas in 1996, and remains the largest arapaima reserve in the world.

Anglers exploring Pirarucú will fish both the inland lakes system, formed in the rainy season from January through June when high water floods the inland jungle areas, and when the waters drop during the dry season, the system of channels that remain to connect them all to the main river.

What really sets Pirarucú apart from other destinations is its namesake, the Arapaima. Pirarucu and Arapaima are synonyms for the same fish. Arapaima can grow to over 400 pounds, and most closely resemble a freshwater tarpon. Having hooked an Arapaima you often feel as though you have hooked the bottom, then they start to move and they explode in aerial displays and headshakes before only surrendering after a battles of wills.

The season at Pirarucú runs from early September to the end of November. The dry season in this part of the Amazon runs from July through January, so this season straddles the middle of the dry season when water should be low and fish congregating in the lakes and channels. November 30th marks the end of fishing due to special regulations from the environmental authorities in Brazil who close any kind of fishing for arapaima throughout the Amazon to protect juvenile fish.


The lodge is simple but very comfortable and beautifully located. A fully floating lodge, constructed of local wood,it is occupied during the year as a ecotourism lodge primarily for bird watching and wildlife viewing. The lodge is a local community based lodge run by the natives with support of their local institute. Therefore it is a little more simplistic in comparison with Untamed Angling’s own lodges.

Pirarucu is a perfect destination for non-anglers, as well as anglers, as there are a good number of activities offered such as bird safaris, jungle treks with pro guides and visits to the local communities to see the local village and people. The lodge has 10 floating cabins, each with two en suite rooms, 3 of which are refurbished to accommodate our angling guests with ceiling and tower fans . The main lodge building features a dining room, living area and kitchen.

Each cabin on the water is connected with wooden walkways. The lodge is located in the heart of the reserve with very short travel times to the fishing. Most days guests will return to the lodge for a well-prepared lunch before returning for an afternoon fishing session. Satellite phone and internet are available.

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